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MA Commercial Music
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
One year full-time or two years part-time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.

Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information:

Whether you're a recent graduate or an industry professional, develop your skills on our Commercial Music MA.

  • Flexible, adaptive and designed for both recent graduates and current professionals.
  • Opportunity to specialise in Music Production, Music Business or Songwriting.
  • Work alongside tutors with the highest level of experience in the music industry.

On our Commercial Music MA, you'll build on your current skills and experience whilst focusing on a particular area of the music industry: Songwriting, Music Production or the Music Business.

You'll choose your modules based on your individual career aspirations, and work towards a major project focused on your specialism:

  • As a songwriter, you could create your own album, or write for others, and develop a showcase of material to pitch to publishers.
  • As a producer, you could apply your skills to your own music or focus on producing for other artists.
  • Your focus on the music business could encompass anything from artist management to setting up your own promotions company or starting a record label.

Whichever specialism you choose, you'll be working with tutors who have worked in the music industry at the highest level. Their experience includes number one albums, gold and multi-platinum recordings, BAFTA awards, Grammy nominations, and international touring and recording experience.

Instagram | YouTube ChannelGraduate career destinations

"Using the connections I made through Commercial Music, I got a job at BDI Music Publishing in A&R."

James Paterson, MA Commercial Music graduate
Portrait photo of a young smiling man with a beard

What you'll learn


You'll carry out research into your specialist area of study and contextualise your own practice through the study of seminal productions, song recordings or business developments. In addition to this you'll focus on specific skills development in your specialism:

Music Production
You'll learn traditional studio techniques of recording electric bands and acoustic music. You'll also expand your skillset into experimental practice and electronic sound design.

You'll work with multiple tutors all with professional songwriting experience studying a range of practical techniques relating to lyric writing, song form, application of harmony, writing effective toplines, stylistic referencing and alternative creative approaches.

Music Business
You'll study the most up to date business models and practice across a range of music industry areas including management, digital marketing, promotion, publishing and record companies.

Course modules

Our Commercial Music MA course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Research Methodologies and Context
  • Songwriting Skills
  • Music Production Anatomy 1
  • Music Business Analysis
  • Song, Culture and Identity
  • Professional Collaboration
  • Music Production Anatomy 2
  • Digital Marketing in the Music Business
  • Major Project
  • Workstation Song Production
How will I be assessed?

There are no formal exams. Your assessed material will be relevant to your specialist area and will include audio recordings, visual material, written work, presentations and viva (discussion of your work).

How will I be taught?

You'll be taught in a variety of ways including lectures, online video material, online lectures, practical workshops, and individual tutorials.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.


Access lectures from our undergraduate course

You can attend any lecture from our undergraduate course giving you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and specialist focus with additional relevant skills from across our undergraduate programme. Examples include music business, digital marketing, video production, composing music with technology and performance. You'll also be able to engage in our vibrant programme of industry guest lectures, songwriting circles and regular live events.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We don’t just teach you about the music industry, we bring it to you. Music Think Tank is an annual ten-week lecture series that brings you into contact with practitioners from a wide spectrum of the industry.

You'll also be embedded in a vibrant culture of performance and live events in the Bristol and Bath region.


Recent graduates have gone onto roles such as:

  • Professional signed artist
  • Published songwriter
  • Working in a record company
  • Music publisher
  • Music agent
  • Music promoter
  • Studio producer/engineer
  • Music manager.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

"The course gave me the time I needed to develop as a songwriter, and I'm now signed to Never Fade Records."

Billie Flynn, MA Commercial Music graduate
A profile photo of a young woman thinking

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The majority of module workshops, seminars and tutorials are held at our Newton Park campus but we offer a 'blended learning' approach giving you access to all lectures online. This allows us to work in way that fits your creative practice and professional commitments.


You'll have access to our music technology facilities including recording studios, rehearsal rooms and production pods.

Students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. Commercial Music students can hire our instruments, PA systems, recording equipment, video cameras and laptops for their creative projects.

"The MA allowed me to develop my production skills and widen my network. I'm now working as a freelance engineer/producer at Miloco Studios, London."

Amy Sergeant, MA Commercial Music graduate
Photo of a young woman standing at a mixing desk


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £8,825
UK part time £4,413
International full time £17,065

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for graduates who want to build on their existing skills to professionalise their creative practice, as well as existing professionals who want to galvanise their industry experience in order to enhance and widen their career prospects.

Typical offers

You will normally have a good undergraduate degree in a relevant subject or equivalent music industry experience. You'll need to provide a digital portfolio of your creative/business work and we'll then interview you online to discuss your suitability for the course. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) web page to learn more.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

When to apply

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

Course leader: James Dickinson

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